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Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Entries in strategy (10)

Monday
Mar262012

Buzz: There's More to a Free Music Campaign than Free Music...

You’ve done it again. You’ve given away a free track from your latest album. It’s on your website. You’ve talked about it on Facebook. Job done, you think. Well think again. There’s no doubt about it. Free music is a powerful marketing tool. However, the music industry has become so over-saturated with free music that we’ve become desensitized to the process of consuming, promoting, and thinking about the importance of free music. This age-old debate has become, well, old.

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Friday
Mar022012

What Can We Learn From Indie Band Pomplamoose?

Having been hearing about the growing success of the band Pomplamoose many times now, I decided to check them out and listen to their music/interviews and watch some of their videos to get a feel for who they were-both as artists, and see what we could learn from this independent band who have carved out a living with STRICTLY their MUSIC, using a 99% web-based business model. Listening to them in the first interview with Tech Crunch’s Andrew Keen, Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn answered several very basic questions, of which, although the interview could have been hosted better to get down to some more insightful questions, the resulting insight I continue to find the more I learn about this powerhouse duo remains consistent with the very simple mantra this band has so very successfully modeled for us as independent musicians in our brave new music business. Pomplamoose, who have now turned down all of the “big three” major labels – are in fact making enough money to live in a fully paid for house, primarily off iTunes revenue, and don’t see the need OR the strategic advantage to sign with a major record label. The bottom line is that Record labels today - are more like general contractors who hire other companies to do things for the artist, (when, with a little knowledge and ambition one could go hire that company directly) and decision makers for those who don’t want or don’t know where to start with building their own business model. Perhaps not as extreme as “the powerful praying on the ignorant and powerless,” but something close to that, is what perpetuates most of the unknown yet talented and intelligent signed acts that you’ve never heard of.

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Thursday
Feb232012

Mobile Marketing for Independent Artists: Tools

So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools! So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?

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Monday
Aug222011

10 Stupid Album Release Screw Ups

I’m filling in on bass for a band that’s gearing up to release their new CD. When filling in for a band, I try to take a back seat on the band’s business. However, I sometimes just cannot keep my big mouth shut. In this case, the guys were discussing details of their upcoming CD release, and I had to chime in. Here’s a rant based on both my experience with my former band and quite a few drunken conversations with various bands over the years.

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Monday
Apr252011

Great Marketers Aren't Afraid To Annoy and Why You Need To Think Like Them

I used to be afraid of always talking about my music to people, whether it was online or offline. Mainly because I was afraid I would annoy and lose them. I found myself in a dilemma of sorts because the promotion of my music was inconsistent as result. And inconsistency doesn’t breed success. So I had to check myself. I was taking this music thing too personally. I needed to step back and be a bit more objective with my career. I needed to think like a businessman. After all, I’ve spent 6 years building my own marketing company.

As I understood business, when you have a good product, the main task at hand is to figure out ways to let your target audience know it exists and raise your product’s profile in their lives. That is your focus. You are the owner. You are the marketer. The success of that product is in your hands. And, being in music makes no difference. If I ever want to make this passion my “9 to 5”, I had better pull things together. What I’ve found is that it took just as much creativity to be in business as it did to make music. Both requires you to take what is seemingly nothing and make it into something. Except when it comes to the business side of things, your job is to make your music, which at the start is nothing in the mind of a consumer, become something meaningful to that consumer. And the key to great marketing is one word: frequency.

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Thursday
Jan062011

Buy One, Give One Free: What Artists Can Learn From Social Entrepreneurship

One of my greatest frustrations with respect to marketing has been that while I speak often about human’s predisposition to share, we’ve yet — in the entertainment realm — developed a way to encourage/reward sharing/sharers.

A bit of background. It was when music/books/movies/etc. went from being objects (analog) to being information (digital) that people could finally satisfy their hard-wired impulse to share with no downside.

Prior to this, if I wanted to share an album/book/DVD with you, when I gave it to you I was deprived of my copy — you win, I half lose/half win. Post the shift to information, when I share my digital versions with you, I still keep my copy — we both win.

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Tuesday
Nov092010

Management In The Music Industry

Peter Drucker stated, “Long-range planning is necessary precisely because we cannot forecast[1].” According to this statement, planning is essential to any enterprise so that the right decisions can be made when the environment changes. Music enterprises must be able to strategize and plan in order to create value for its customers. Strategizing and planning allows the enterprise to create its goals in its mission and vision for all levels of the hierarchy to strive for.

For example, Motown Records’ mission statement was, when it was first created, to “unite and bring people together through music[2].” A mission statement, as being part of planning, was created for Motown Records so that all artists, publishers, employees, and presidents of Motown Records would make decisions based on “uniting and bringing people together.” Knowledge of the goals and direction of the enterprise are necessary to know throughout the entire enterprise so that everyone knows what decisions are to be made and which are the right ones[3].  Motown Records brought value to its customers that shared the same ideal in music: the desire to unite people. Planning the mission and vision statement encompasses all decision-making for music enterprises. After knowing the enterprise’s plan, any employee or superior would have to ask, “Does this decision align with our core values and work towards our vision as a music enterprise?” Customers will value an enterprise that is consistent with its plan to create that value for its customers.

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Monday
Feb152010

My Interview with SXSW Magazine on Online Strategy for Musicians

At last count, if I’m correct, I’ve attended the SXSW Conference at least seventeen times, and on many of those visits I have been very grateful for the opportunity to speak on a panel. When Brian Zisk, a co-founder of the SanFran MusicTech conference, invited me to speak again on a panel in December, and also to join him on his panel at this year’s SXSW, I gave pause.

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Wednesday
Oct282009

In Defense Of 1,000 True Fans - Part II - Matthew Ebel

In part ii of my 1,000 true fans series I chose to interview my friend Matthew Ebel. I have known Matthew for a few years because he runs in the same geeky podcasting circles that I proudly run in.  Matthew is the type of artist I refer to in my book as a “Builder” meaning Matthew is constantly pushing his career forward using not only musical innovation but also technology.  

What I find most striking about this interview is the fact that Matthew makes 26.3% of his net income from just 40 hard- core fans.

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